Britney Spears and Dr. Phil

I don’t normally follow celebrity news but a recent event occurred that warrants comment. Dr. Phil recently and unexpectedly showed up at Britney’s hospital room to “lend support”. He ended up talking with her for an hour (there are differing reports about this incident – some say they talked for an hour, others that Britney kicked him out right away). Dr. Phil came under fire for his actions. I think what he did was completely unacceptable. Even if he truly was concerned for her, Dr. Phil’s actions were inappropriate.

He stated that her family asked that he visit Britney. That request shows that her family really doesn’t care about her. If they cared, they would have recommended a real psychologist. Sure, Dr. Phil has a PhD in psychology. However, he’s a pop clinical psychologist who dishes out insults faster than inspiration.He doesn’t provide empirically supported treatment, he doesn’t provide therapy at all. He’s a TV personality; Dr. Phil is to clinical psychology as N’Sync is to music. Additionally, his “tough love” method of therapy is not effective for the vast majority of patients.

Britney did not request that Dr. Phil visit her. Her medical doctors certainly didn’t either. Dr. Phil visiting is like giving the bones of a fish to a starving person. I don’t have anything against Dr. Phil personally, I just don’t think he should be making unsolicited (Britney is an adult after all and can make – however poorly – her own decisions) visits. Besides, he was talking to the press afterward, talking about Britney and her problems. So much for confidentiality. His actions are downright unethical. He was even planning a whole show around her and her problems (which he has since canceled or postponed, thankfully).

Again, Dr. Phil is not a psychologist, he is a TV star. He had no business visiting Britney, who needs real help, not his pseudopsychology.

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